Wichita State grads win local NASA Space Apps challenge

A team of Wichita State University grads working at Koch Industries is the winner of Wichita’s NASA Space Apps Challenge.

Murphy Ownbey, Ethan Wells and Mirmukhammad Mirsodikov with team “Koch” won the challenge by developing a web app that allows users to experience space images much like NASA researchers, merging visual and audio elements. “Astrorpheus” generates a point-cloud and audio from any space image, displaying both in an interactive environment. 

NASA Space Apps is the largest annual global hackathon in the world. During the hackathon, teams from cities around the world engage with free and open data available through NASA and its Space Agency Partners to address real-world problems on Earth and in space.

Teams can choose from 31 challenges focused on topics such as Artemis II, Space Biology, Eclipses, Water Conservation, Geomagnetic Storms, Biodiversity, Moonquakes, Fire Management and many more. The winning team participated in the “Immersed in Sounds of Space” challenge.

The team won an all expense paid trip to the COExperience in Dallas this spring, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their project for 3DEXPERIENCE users. Their project will also be considered to compete in the Space Apps global challenge. Global nominees will be announced soon. 

Ownby and teammate Greg Heiman recently won the Student Practical Architecting Challenge (SPARC), hosted by Wichita State’s FirePoint Innovation Center.

The Wichita-based Space Apps challenge was hosted by the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and its Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS).

The local challenge consisted of seven teams who spent a weekend at ATLAS developing and presenting their challenge solutions. Event sponsors included Dassault Systémes, Solvay and Star Lumber. Judges and mentors were representatives from Dassault Systémes, Solvay and Spirit AeroSystems and NIAR.

You can learn more about Team Koch’s Astrorpheus project and the other local projects at https://www.spaceappschallenge.org/2023/locations/wichita-ks/?tab=teams.